Published: Fri, May 04, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

UN Security Council condemns terror attacks in Afghanistan

UN Security Council condemns terror attacks in Afghanistan

"We anticipated and are doing our best and have been successful at blocking many of these attacks on innocent people but unfortunately once in a while they get through because any terrorist organization that realizes it can't win by ballots and turns to bombs, this is simply what they do", Mattis said.

No-one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but both Taliban and Islamic State group are active and have repeatedly claimed attacks in Kabul.

A co-ordinated double suicide bombing hit central Kabul on Monday morning, killing 21 people, including an AFP photographer and a cameraman for a local TV station, Afghan officials said.

The US would stand by the Afghan people and government and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission would continue as the Taliban were being driven to a political settlement, Mattis continued.

"We strongly condemn yesterday's suicide bombing in Kabul", White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders told reporters. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said there was "absolutely no justification for such a senseless and heinous act".

He says the strike killed around a dozen Taliban insurgents.

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Monday's bombing by the Islamic State group was the deadliest attack targeting reporters since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, according to Reporters Without Borders, also known by its French acronym RSF.

While meeting with Mattis in Kabul, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called Trump's strategy a "game-changer".

Pentagon officials, however, have said that the Afghan forces have been improving in recent months, as the USA beefs up training and advising local forces in the country.

According to SIGAR, the strength of the Afghan security forces dropped by about 10 percent over the course of a year - falling to a total size of 296,409 personnel in the army and police forces as of January 31. He said he received reassurances that Pompeo agrees with the president that the Iraq war was a "mistake" and that it is time for USA troops to leave Afghanistan.

The Afghan military is being made more capable, Mattis said, adding that more of the forces are special forces, advised and assisted, accompanied by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mentors and these are the most effective forces. He added that this expansion was why the Taliban had not taken any district centers or provincial centers. Insurgents now control 14.5 percent of all districts in Afghanistan, an increase of three percentage points since 2016.

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